Ringgit set to stay at RM4.68-RM4.69 range against the US dollar this week, current range set to be maintained

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The ringgit is expected to maintain its current range of RM4.68 to RM4.69 against the US dollar this week, said an economist.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist and social finance head Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the markets would continue to assess the incoming data points next week.

He said concern over the highly restrictive US monetary policy stance would also persistently dictate market sentiment.

"Market participants remained attentive to the prospects of higher interest rates in the US.

"Next week, investors await other important data points, including the US non-farm payroll (NFP) and September’s unemployment rate," he told Bernama.

Based on consensus estimates, the NFP is anticipated to decline to 150,000 in September from August's 187,000.

Meanwhile, SPI Asset Management managing director Stephen Innes opined that the ringgit may start to rally towards RM4.60 against the US dollar, depending on whether the global growth balance is achieved via a slower US economy or improvements in the rest of the world.

"A looming government shutdown poses some risk to market sentiment, but I think investors have priced in the implication so long as the shutdown does not extend beyond the expected week or two," he said.

The US Congress is supposed to agree on a spending bill by end-September, failing which a government shutdown may result.

On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the ringgit weakened against the US dollar to 4.6930/6970 from 4.6865/6920 a week earlier.

Meanwhile, the local unit traded mixed against other major currencies.

It rose versus the euro to 4.9802/9845 from 4.9860/9918 and was higher vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.1482/1511 from 3.1593/1632 previously. It depreciated against the British pound to 5.7522/7571 from 5.7372/7439 the previous Friday.

The ringgit also traded mixed against its Asean peers.

The local unit improved against the Thai baht at 12.8808/8964 from 13.0119/0322 last Friday and was better versus the Indonesian rupiah at 303.5/303.9 from 304.7/305.3.

Meanwhile, it declined against the Singapore dollar to 3.4457/4489 from 3.4313/4359 a week earlier and eased vis-a-vis the Philippine peso to 8.29/8.30 from 8.25/8.26. - Bernama

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